Here is an art project for you to try out. In this article we shall learn the design and working of the circuit Circling LEDs. In this, we have eight LEDs which glow one after the other to form a circling effect. My intention in publishing this circuit is not just to make some art work with electronics but also to illustrate the working principle and circuit design using IC 555 in astable mode, 4017 counter and to explain the related concepts.

IC4017 Circuit Schematic:


IC4017 Circuit Explanation:

The 555 IC will operates in astable mode with a frequency of 14Hz. I have explained the frequency calculation in one of my previous articles on IC 555 tester. I kindly request you to check it our for the formulas and calculations of frequency.

The 555 IC in the circuit is used as a clock pulse generator to provide input clock pulses to the counter IC 4017. The IC 555 in the circuit operates at a frequency of 14Hz, which means that it produces about 14 clock pulses every second to the IC 4017.

Now we shall analyze what happens at IC 4017. IC 4017 is a digital counter plus decoder circuit. The clock pulses generated at the output of IC 555 timer (PIN-3) is given as an input to IC 4017 through PIN-14. If you do not know the pin configurations of IC 4017, I recommend you to follow one of my articles on Understanding IC 4017 Pin Configuration.

Whenever a clock pulse is received at the clock input of IC 4017 counter, the counter increments the count and activates the corresponding output PIN.

when count is zero, PIN-3 is HIGH, which means LED-1 will be ON and all the other LEDS are OFF. After the next clock pulse, PIN-2 of IC 4017 is HIGH, which means that LED-2 will glow and all the other LEDs can be turned OFF. This repeats and the LEDs turn ON and OFF successively on each clock pulse thereby producing a circling effect.

Assembling this Circuit:

This circuit can be housed on a general purpose PCB or a stripboard and the LEDs in the circuit are to be arranged in a circular shape. Make sure that you arrange the LEDs in order with LED-1 first, LED-2 second and so on upto LED-8. Arrange the LEDs in a circle and solder it onto a PCB.

Not just a circle! You can experiment with any other shapes and designs and get a beautiful circling effect for your own shape. What Other shapes can you try? Any of course, but here are a few suggestions. You can try to construct the first letter of your name with this circling effect.

I encourage you to try out this circuit and if you come across any problem while doing this circuit or else if you have any doubt regarding project, you can leave a comment below so that I can help you out.

1 Comment

  1. Hi I wonder if you can help me with a design I would like to build, or flash 3 colors with 10 RGB COMMON CATHODE LEDS using a circuit I already have its a 10 led flasher, I want to cascade two more 4017 counters so each counter will flash only one color but continueous can you shed some light here. Thanks

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